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  CSPAN    Capitol Hill Hearings    News/Business.  

    November 9, 2012
    6:00 - 7:00am EST  

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previous panel were talking about what congress needs to do to work together. and we are unique, moderate republicans. on the republican side, scott brown who probably would have been one of these people who linda lingle in hawaii. she would have been an asset for the kind of congress that pulls things together. she was a terrific candidate in ran a great campaign. running as a republican in a democratic state, the president's home state this particular year just rang up no sale. heather wilson in new mexico is another one like that. moderate republicans running in blue states all lost.
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look at their counterparts. democratic moderates running in red states. he did manage to win in indiana in a non-democratic wave year. it was probably impossible in 2010. but in a relatively level playing field environment, it was still something. the fact that democrats were still in the hunt in north dakota -- i have not looked to see what the president's number was there. it was pretty impressive. john tester, the other one that
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is still up in the air, fairly moderate. it looks like he may survive. tim kaine won in virginia. the republicans, their brand is hurting them -- their candidates -- in certain kinds of places, even the kind of candidates that should have chances to win in traditionally republican states. think about how far to the right mitt romney had to go to mail tell that nomination. one of the things people will say -- nail down that nomination. people say, what impact did the superpacs have tumbled -- have? had adelson not kick in the
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money for newt gingrich, he would have been out of the race a long time ago. if not for foster freeze, rick santorum would have been out of there. romney had to move to the right to nail down the nomination. it made it more difficult, more awkward for him to go back toward the center to win a general election. if you are going to say two issues -- one of them might not be fair. the automobile bailout, i do not know how much of that was political and conservatives not liking government interference and how much of it was a harvard business school, harvard law our school -- harvard law school thinking that that would
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have been a better long-term route for the auto companies that may not have been political, that you them go bankrupt. the other thing is the politicization. you cannot tell me that the mitt romney from 3 or four years ago would have had any intention to go as strident as you did on immigration and how badly the heard him the look and how he performs. -- that hurt him when you look at how he performed. one percentage point more of the vote this time than in 2008 was made up of -- he ended up getting 71.27. you look at that and say, wow.
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that was an enormous mistake. the second thing that seems to me is that campaigns matter. i hate doing this the morning after the election. there are some people who worked their hearts out, worked hard for romney-ryan did a terrific job. i think the world of neil. i have to second guess some of the other seat -- of the decision makers in the campaign. they made some enormous strategic mistakes the undercut romney's ability to compete and take advantage of this kind of economy. the decision not to be fun romney early on when he clearly was -- not to define romney
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early on when he was clearly a clean slate to out-spend, out- organize a republican field. my wife is trying to get me to stop using the word wacko. he got them out of the way, but he did it without ever building his own plant about who he was. when you go back to april 10 -- his own plan about who he was. when you go back to april 10, they basically knew he was a
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republican presidential candidate. they knew he was an english, successful businessman. maybe -- they knew he was a rich, successful businessman. other than that, they knew next to nothing about mitt romney. one of the first things i learned in politics along time ago was the importance to define your candidate before the opponent has a chance to define them. you want to go in with the biographical adds, the testimonial ads. it is not that it is -- biographical ads, testimonials ads. it is not that it is a popularity contest, but you want to go in with something that people would be proud to have in elected office. you just want those warm and
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fuzzy feelings. it provides a teflon coating to protect your candidate from the slime you know it's going to come. you need that -- from the slime that is going to come. you need that. they were running a lot of ads in may and june. they did not talk about this economy -- it wanted to talk about the economy and a referendum on president obama. romney had to reach a threshold level, a comfort place with voters. they simply did not do that. they shoved it off until the convention and you did not happen there.
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the ball simply never moved forward until he got up in the first debate in hit a grand slam. he came through in a way that the campaign had not at that point. second and third performances -- even though people say president obama won -- i know about debate scoring. people do it like a high-school debate or boxing or olympic diving and they want to do points. when i look at debates i think, do people looked at one or both candidates differently after the debase them before? you had people who had just seen this character of romney that came from the obama -- first of all, from the republican primaries where he turned himself into a pretzel, a moderately conservative guy.
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i met him when he was running for senate against senator kennedy in 1994. he was a relatively non- ideological guy. i would have put him on the 35- 40 yard line on the right side. he had to head into the red zone and go to the 2 yard line. ron paul was the only one. that was not who he was. it was not convincing. it did leave some bad impressions with people. many had waited too long to hustle back over to the metal. he did not -- he had waited too long to also back over to the metal -- the middle. he started sliding a little toward the end and then sand the
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deck. the failure to define him in a positive way -- he started sliding in little toward the end and then sandy hit. the failure to define him in a positive way. outsourcing, bain patel, taxes, cayman islands -- bain capit al, since, cayman islands. they beat him over the head with it. when he got the left after the first debate, he probably went up in all 50 states, but he moved up slower in those six or 8 states where the obama ads had beaten his brains out. at the end of the day, that is what made the difference.
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the cold numbers the republicans are going to have to look at and think about is the demographics. who voted? the country is changing and they have got to change. we will see as they progress through the denial and all of these other things until they get to a point and step forward. if i were the republican party, reince priebus is a terrific operative. he is an effective national cheer. to be honest, i think the republican party -- there is a time when parties need a haley barbour. they need some large stature and person, someone -- large-
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statured person, someone who has the stature who can move the party along on a sustainable immigration policy for the party. how to hit the pitch right on social, cultural issues, to not turn their backs on cultural and social conservatives and not alienate some many voters. people say, i am it the seventh of on economic issues, but -- -- i am a conservative on economic issues, but -- you know what the rest of the sentence is. right now, it is the republican problems that are most apparent this morning after the election. with little sleep and with my
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observations were watching this last night. i was supposed to introduce you guides -- introduce you guys straight out. i am supposed to be in the middle. they have a labyrinth plan for how all of this is supposed to work and i get up here and screw it all up. let me introduce. alex bratty and margie omera are terrific pollsters. i have gotten to know them over the last few years. alex works with public opinion strategies, which is a large and extremely high quality, the biggest of the republican polling firms. she is a partner there. they do the enormous work.
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i enjoyed meeting and working with alex. not working with, i just get to watch her and watch the light streamed video for some of the work that they do for the walmart moms. margie is a boutique. she is a high end both it. she got her start -- she is a high end boutique. both of them do great, great work. we have done a couple of panels together and it has been a lot of fun. i am going to sit down. am i interviewing? >> you are our fearless leader, charlie. >> sarcasm. i am asking the questions. margie, where were you last
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night? [laughter] >> i was with my husband. my firm and his firm -- he was a democratic media consulting firm. we had a joint election night party. >> you are watching the early things coming in. what were your impressions? what were your first, second, and third impressions some of disappointment and unique pleasures? >> my unique pleasure was to see so many women get elected to office. obviously, my unique pleasure was seen barack obama get reelected as a democrat. seeing so many women be elected was houston gratifying. one of the things that was really important that i saw --
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seeing so many women be elected was hugely gratifying. one of the things i saw that was really important was that the gender gap means that for the first time since 1996, women determined the window. obama won with women, lost with man, won the election. -- obama won with women, lost with man, and won the election. there were failings with women's issues and women voters. >> what were things, curiosity things that tickled you during the evening? or surprises. >> i was surprised that as many senate races when democratic as did. i was surprised to see that.
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not completely shocked, but i was surprised to see so many democrats win. that was a nice surprise. >> okay, alex. where were you? >> we were doing an election night poll. we interviewed 6000 voters and we did a poll among walmart moms. i was watching the returns come in and do with the polling. obviously, not a wonderful night for republicans to say the least. margie made a good point about the gender gap. you also talked about this earlier. what is really behind that and what republicans do need to look at is the vote among whites among -- versus latino and
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african americans. even though president obama won women by double digits, he did not win white women. mitt romney won white women by 14 postal -- 14 points. what is underneath that is the racial, ethnic split. that was something you know if. -- that was something you noted. marital status was in there, too. if the electorate had looked like it did in 2004 where there were 77% of voters that were white, mitt romney would have won last night. like voters went down to 72%. we are living in a different world where you can win white voters. mitt romney won y voters by 20 points. tears by 20e
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points. 5:30 p.m. or 6:30 p.m., what was the first or second thing you saw or heard that told you this might not be such a good night? >> florida. how it has not been called yet. it was so tight and obama was a little bit ahead and he continued to be a half. >> there was no route to his 70 without florida. but florida was not a good sign. >> when we look at how swing voters and how good faith, when you look at the exit poll data, independents voted for romney. usually independents tipped the
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scale, but that did not happen. >> one of the things that was one on in the blogosphere was the role of independents. can either one of you address what made one pulled different from another in terms of how they ask the question and that sort of thing? >> certainly. here it is a self-described. when we do the polling, we are asking people how you identify. partisan identification does jump around. independents, as you get closer to the election, there are few people are truly independent.
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they are leaning one way or the other. six daystar profiling leaning democrat or leaning republican. -- they start profiling leading democrats or leaning republican. we say, if you -- we said, are they lean republican or democrat or are they truly down the middle? >> if someone says they are a and itn pendant and you -- says they are independent and you ask if they are leaning republican, do you put them in the republican column? >> when you are doing an internal poll for your client or candidate versus a media poll --
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>> in mike lee of the independents -- it might leave all of the independents in a different group. >> you are trying to figure out all the different routes and what is the narrative and what might be happening behind the surface. national outlets are releasing a poll to get public attention quickly. >> you are saying there is no conspiracy. >> there is no conspiracy. >> is there a conspiracy? >> not that i am aware of. if there is, we are not in it. >> there really is not a conspiracy out there. >> it is a variance. polling is self and what you are looking at is a variance. you have the statistical confidence to take that into account.
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polling itself and looking at the navigators and comparing apples to one another, there will be variance. sometimes -- i will >> to switch over and talk about the walmart -- >> i want to switch over and talk about the walmart moms. what do you think he left out or disagreed with or you thought needed more amplification? >> i thought everything you said was fantastic, charlie. i would say one of the things -- you are talking about demographics and they are right with you on all of that. one of the things we saw with our walmart moms survey and it was not even in the national exit polls.
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it was the role of the entitlement debate and the social security and medicare. there was a moment where it seems like that was going to be a heavy portion of our campaign dialogue. it ended up not being important, at least not to voters. i think that is something that is important for us to think about going forward in the campaign and how important that is and what people can follow and try that sort of new ones ebay. >> i would second margie and i think you did a -- sort of nuanced debate. >> i would second margie on that. i will elaborate that i think sandy throws things in place for ann romney. it was starting to taper a little bit -- froze things in
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place for mitt romney. he was starting to taper a little bit. but before that, people were saying he was lucky character -- icature.cara in the kind of killed that. it was frozen in place for him. they lost a few days on that momentum. >> one of the things that comes to mind his is -- is, we talk so much about the battleground states. but ultimately the national conversation dominates.
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if one door closes for mitt romney, there are not other doors equally available. the reason a door closed in other states is the reason other doors are not going to be opened. >> most of the people in this room are inside the beltway for a mile and half outside the beltway, but close enough. i got to know both of you when you started to do the walmart moms focus groups. it was a group of people that was a large segment of the electorate that do not have pacs and well-connected lobbyists and do not have much of a voice. it is a big group of people. with them in mind -- i do not know if you release your survey from last night.
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why don't those of you take off on that? would you do learn from your research? what did you see last night about this t voting group? >> as we have looked at wal-mart moms -- with the d.c. last night about this key voting group? >> walmart moms were seen as a swing voting group in 2008. they voted for obama in 2008. we joined with margie and started doing bipartisan work. we tracked these walmart moms over time. we have found that they are 14% to team% of the electorate. they looked like -- 17% of the electorate. they are middle of the road in
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terms of ideology. ultimately, they break republican. we had democrats in 2008 and republican in 2010. where are they going to land in 2012 tumbled we embarked on this election cycle to talk to these moms. where are they going to land in 2012? we talk to these moms and heard from them. they were traveling the whole time. it was this balancing act. we have president obama. i know him. he is relatable. he seems like he understands me. he does not seem to have delivered on the economy. he inherited a lot, but it is not there for me. i am hurting. i do not know. on the other hand, we have ann
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romney who has this great resume. maybe this is the dying -- we have mitt romney who has this great resume. i just feel like i can connect to him. you could see that. they were visibly grappling with his decision. even up until last night when we get our election night poll, they were just as split as the overall electorate. here is a swing voter group that tips the scales one way or another. they did not really swing. they split down the middle, almost. 50% obama and 48% romney, which mirrors the election. it is interesting to see that dilemma and the split down the middle go all the way to last night. >> i agree with a lot of what alex said.
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another key finding with these moms is how personally they are feeling the effects of the economy. the personal lands to which they view politics. we saw this in the focus group where we would hear story after story of health care struggles and making sure they can afford a specialist for their kids to see, husbands out of work, women who were pregnant and laid off and trying to figure out how they were going to get a job. moving in with parents. it did not matter where in the socio-economic spectrum they came from. they still have those concerns. it was not a socio-economic thing necessarily. it was the pressure of running a household and being a mom. that really added to it. some mothers said, i am struggling to fund and -- fund a
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529 for my kids'to education. they struggled with getting the household in order and running. that colors how they see the political debate. we also saw it in our polling. in 2011, we did a national survey with these moms. 2 to 1 said, i am more concerned about my household finances than the national economy. that is a stark difference. it is really important in how women saw those of the candidates and what they thought the candidates were speaking to them and how their daily life was going to be affected. >> what we used to call working-
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class families used to be a bedrock part of the democratic coalition. not so much anymore. what has happened? >> i think there are a variety of things. there are social-cultural components of this. >> the democratic party has moved upscale? >> i would not phrase it that way. >> how would you phrase it? >> i would not say the democratic party has moved upscale. that is a charge that is levied against the democratic party. a lot of voters have a concern that somebody is getting a better deal that may. they get a shoreline and i do not.
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-- they get a short cut and i do not. people are saying, they are getting a better deal than me. when you combine that with the procession of differences on moral issues and religious issues and social issues, adds to that and magnifies that. the democratic party is not internally saying let's go upscale. that is not a goal. it is the appearance of that that becomes a caricature. >> my colleague combs through lots of retail restaurants -- combed through lots of retail rest draws to come up with which once epitomized -- restaurants to see which one is penalized
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which party. -- which one epitomize each party. the thing about it is there has been over the last 40 or 50 years a dislodge event -- a dislodgeme betweennt certain kinds of voters -- a dislodge ment between certain kinds of voters in the democratic party. >> it is not like either party has chosen to take that track and go that way. these perceptions have been ellora -- these perceptions happen or these charges are levied and you are dealing with
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the reality of that and the reality of that. >> is there a perception that the republican party is more starbucks -- that the democratic party is more starbucks than the local diner? >> i did not think that is the way the democratic party has chosen to go. >> there was a great hue poll from late august. they told the middle - pew -- pew poll from late august -- late august. they were overwhelmingly democratic. so i would say in terms of who democrats are fighting for and the perception of food democrats are fighting for, the perception is not that the democrats are
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fighting for shoppers at the exclusion of diner patrons. i would argue that the reverse is true. they are more likely to say mitt romney's policies benefit the rich. >> do they say obama relates more to me, but i wonder whether he is competent in his effectiveness? did you see that in the data? >> there was something interesting in the exit polls. there were four active use. -- for attributes -- four attributes. it was an advantage that obama had over the fourth one.
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it was leadership or a fighter. i will get it i have it somewhere. >> it was obama performing better on cares about someone like me. that is what we have seen through this whole cycle. we certainly saw it with our walmart moms. that was something we heard from them. i do not feel like i can connect with mitt romney. does he really understand what i am going through every day? when you push them and ask, what about barack obama gemma -- what about barack obama it? does he? they will say, well, given the choice, he understands me better. i do not know if it is necessarily, he had this all nailed down. it is just the choices. >> shares your values strongly,
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cares about people like me, has vision for the future. of the people who said cares about me was their number one issue, 81% voted for obama. if you set any of the others were your number one trade, you voted for romney. -- no. 1 traits, you voted for 1 trait, youberw voted for brown v. the 47% reinforce the perception that he does not care about me. >> i want to go to questions and
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answers in a second. let's move forward and let say you are in a meeting with republican leaders -- you are in a meeting with democratic leaders. you probably should not use the term knuckleheads. this country is expecting things to start happening in 2013, unlike 2009, 2010, 2011. what do you tell how the republican leaders to connect with with these walmart moms? what are they looking for that is actionable and relatable for republican leaders as they go into the fiscal cliff and go into next year and the grand
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bargain, whatever? >> there are a couple of things. one of them is a longer-term goal. it is addressing the composition of the electorate and how it is going to look going forward. it means to be a conversation about that in terms of how does tea party come together on that. the other parts of it is that there is terrific leadership around the country that we can look to. republicans did not win the white house last night and we cannot win the senate last night. as of last night, there are 30 republican governors around this country and there is diversity. you have nikki haley and susanna martinez in new mexico and bobby jindal. there is diversity. there is leadership in those states in terms of how they are dealing with fiscal issues. a lot of that, you can look to
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the states and the leadership here is around the country in terms of what they are happy with and what they do and look to republicans in terms of how they handle the budget and the economy. >> mitch mcconnell and john boehner are heading into a budget summit meeting. you have 30 seconds to whisper in their ear. >> i thought you said you were going to go easy on me today. [laughter] can we keep going on like we have in the last several years? no. does that mainly have to do everything president obama wants them off -- that president obama wants? no.
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look at what are the ways to deal with that and what the composition of the election is looking at and what they want and how we can do some kind of compromise and still maintain our conservative principles. that is who we are as a party. >> ok, margie. your turn. you have harry reid's year or nancy pelosi or the president's here. 30 seconds. they are walking into the room. what is the one thing you would want them to know? >> one is getting tough when the republicans tried to fight compromise. been tough in a way that demonstrates and exposes -- being tough in a way the democrats -- demonstrates and exposes who is coming to the table. use language does not sound overly processy and overly
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wonky. there are voters to think everybody in washington is going in the wrong direction. voters si no winner. they only see losers. >> -- voters seen no -- see no winners, only losers. >> i was watching the debates. every time one of them attacked the other, you saw the line of approval go down. >> we saw that with the walmart moms. we heard from them over and over again. politicians do not understand me. what a mile in my shoes.
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>> clearly, they do not have the urgency that i feel. they describe congress as bickering children. they look at it as moms and say, you are like my kids fighting. to get the job done. the cicilline for monsoon to get the job done. -- particularly for moms who gets the job done. in the town hall debates, they said they should have been taking that time to make life better for me. they do not feel like they heard that from either candidate throughout this entire race. >> i do not envy them. how do you challenge what your opponent is saying about you
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without seeming like you are engaging in native back and forth. -- negative back and forth. ? it is difficult. >> i will get into trouble if we do not go to questions and answers. we have people with microphones. ica hands over here. -- i see a over here. try to be concise in the questions and we will try to be concise in our answers. >> i am interested that there has been so much discussion of latinos and immigration and policies. i represent immigrants farmers. do you think the members of the house who are going to be
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running for election in two years will change their approach on immigration policy and work out a compromise? >> the question is to want to be mean and say something or do want to be nice and go to margie? let's be nice. >> margie can go first. >> i hope so. i hope that we can have an open conversation where both sides can come to the table. it is important for democrats to not make it seem like any kind of immigration policy is anti-latino. that is a reasonable critique. we need to come to the table and have a dialogue that sounds a inclusive and open. ultimately, voters say they want some kind of law passed. >> this is one issue the business community needs on the
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table. been be coalescing force for pulling a compromise on the -- being a coalescing force for pulling a compromise on both sides. >> the compromise -- composition of the electorate is changing. our country is changing. we all have to change to me to that and recognize it. -- we have to change to meet that and to recognize that. is there going to be a lot of back-and-forth? absolutely. that is democracy in action. it can get messy at times. >> one of the things we have heard a lot from walmart moms is they really do not like a lot of the heated rhetoric. when you have candidates for office using inflammatory hot
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language about latinos, that is the kind of things that people really reject. it is something that wal-mart moms would reject. i think that is something to consider going forward. it will be a good scrubbing of our language and some of that hot language. >> where's the next question? where is the microphone? >> we have heard a lot about what the romney campaign did wrong. can you talk about what the obama campaign did well? mitt romney in sicily lose the race or did obama win -- mitt romney essentially lose the race or did obama win? >> the obama campaign through a heck of a lot of money over the summer with the bain ads.
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had that not worked and had they ended up and running low on money toward the end, that would have looked like the dumbest decision on the face of the earth. it was a huge gamble but it was a prudent one. it was to be enormously well. if i had a couple hours, i could come up with a couple of mistakes that were made by the campaign has opposed to the candidate like going to see hoover dam rather than going to the debate prep session. >> i cannot work for the obama campaign, but keeping the math big on early votes and having that be an early effort, those
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were good technical moves. >> you have any claim that minnesota was closing? >> a little. but it did not feel like it was enough. the obama campaign, they ran a great campaign. let's not forget. he eek outed/ tonight. it was a tight race. -- he eeked it ou ninet . i do not want to blow it out of -- it was an incredibly tight race with a lot of smart people on both sides fighting for what they believed in. >> next question. >> i have one over here. >> wave your hand in a nonthreatening way. >> i wonder if you can explain what seems to be a disconnect between the national polls and
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the battleground state polls. the republicans were complaining about how the state polls were not getting the demographics right. it turned out they did get the demographics a little bit better than the national polls, which seems to be leaning toward romney at the end. did the demographic change nationwide? in terms of turnout did it happen that it changed in the battleground states? >> let me treat the question for either of you to take. there seems to be a disagreement between pollsters on what the electorate was going to look like. one side ended up being closer to write than the other side. the media -- right the site. the media polling came out closer -- right side.
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>> in states, you have more states showing an advantage for obama. you can have both of those things be true. you can have the state show a different picture from the national because it mirrors what happens. >> there has been a lot of discussion about the polling, particularly in the last couple of weeks. if you look at the final last polls that came out, the last seven or so he opposed the were released, virtually all of those were rights within the margin of error. this who is within the margin of error. they had a plus one for obama. that is where it ended up last night. it came together. came tied together. when you look at the bottle law state polls, they titans and started moving -- if you looked
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at the battleground state polls, they tightened and started moving toward obama. at times the polls seem to be a little bit all over the place. sometimes there are outliers and you are aggregating all of these pulls together. at the end of the day, when you look at where the national polls were projecting in with the that allows states were tightening to, it looks pretty clear all along. the other piece of that, which we try to get right is the whole notion of cell phones. how much of the electorate is cell phone only. in the exit polls last night, 33% of the electorate was cell phone only compared to 20% in 2008. that keeps creeping up and
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creeping up. the cell phone only voters are younger and less white. if you are missing them, your samples are still look a little different. that is another piece without getting to walking -- too wonky >> . when you are working for a candidate, one of the things you want to do is predict the election. the other thing is to help the the the message and figure out what the right language is and what is the best strategy. that is not part of what the national polling picture is. people put a lot of emphasis on what the horse race polling looks like and use that to render a verdict on polling as an industry and whether it is good or bad or helpful or not helpful. there is a lot more polling to learn what voters are thinking and hear them talk about issues in their own words.
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>> do you have a final thoughts? >> on the spot again. my big take away from last night is that it was incredibly close. some of that is getting lost in shuffle. it was not a mandate election. president obama is going to have to come to the house and triangulate. he just eeked this out. we have to remember that as we go forward. i am looking forward to how they will react to our new congress and what happens with the fiscal cliff. all of that continues. >> i would love to see what women voters and walmart moms think of all of these new women candidates.
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maybe there is a sense that having more of women members helps the tenor and washington tone. that is something worth exploring. >> my crazy thought would be the question a lot of people were asking during the democratic convention. if president obama is reelected, how will he be different in the next four years than in the last four years. if i could no one thing, i would like to know how much interaction he has with members of congress. the last four years, it has been negligible. if he is going to be effective, he is going to engage members of congress and engaged in a way of talking to them and listening to them and getting to know them, in many cases, for the first time. when you hear democratic members of congress say they have never, ever had anybody from the white
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house walking to the doorstep of their offense. our members of congress going six months at a time having no conversation with the president in person or on the phone. when you have that kind of thing happening and that his own side, don't talk to me about obstructionism in the own party if you are not communicating with your own side. if i could no one thing about the next four years, i would like to know, does he turn a new leaf. i would suggest he read the new book about lyndon johnson, the fourth volume, about how president johnson got the kennedy tax cuts through and cathy voting vice act of 1964 through. -- got the voting rights act of 1964 through if he is. going
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to be on a lot rushmore, he is going to have to learn to do that in his second term. >> several live events to tell you about this morning. that is on c-span 2 at 9:00 eastern. also at 9:00 eastern on c-span, more of3 about the election results. in a few moments, today's headlines and your calls live on." "washington journal president obama will talk about the economy and the debt from the white house. we will have live coverage here on c-span. in about 45 minutes, the executive editor of the wee